Milestone: Apple (Finally!) Ships More Mobile Phones Than Samsung

If numbers are anything to go by, 2023 was Apple’s year as it dethroned Samsung to sell the most devices worldwide. It’s the first time that Samsung hasn’t topped the charts in the past 13 years, hinting at a downturn for the former champion. Here’s a closer look at the numbers.

Apple tops the charts for the first time ever!

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, Apple claimed the top spot for the number of smartphone shipments in 2023. With 234.6 million units shipped worldwide, Apple has edged past Samsung’s 226.6 million shipments, and become the table topper for the first time ever. 

Image: IDC

Samsung, on the other hand, failed to defend its top spot for the first time in 13 years. Although IDC’s report is based on preliminary data and the exact figures might change in the future, they’ve largely been corroborated by Canalys, another research agency, which also puts Apple in front of Samsung. 

What’s driving Apple’s growth?

Apple just hasn’t risen to the top; it’s raced there. In fact, it’s the only company among the top three that has a positive growth trajectory. The other two – Samsung and Xiaomi – are looking at significant negative growth, something that can get worse over time. 

Meanwhile, Apple’s rise is due, in no small part, to the growing trend of premium devices, making up more than 20% of all the market devices. Much of this can be attributed to the easier financing plans and more trade-ins. But Apple has had to contend with its own regulatory challenges and increased competition from companies offering similar devices at a competitive price. 

Image: Canalys

Nevertheless, it’s managed to hold its own and get ahead in a year that witnessed an overall decline compared to the previous year. But, current signs suggest that the downturn might be almost over, and the global market may soon see a rising curve again. 

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